Presented by DMR Productions and Serious Comedy Studio, as part of the Causeway Exchange Program between Singapore and Malaysia, Indian Lawyers ran at the Arts House @ The Old Parliament from 23 to 26 August 2012.
Created, written, and directed by Santhira Morgan, who also served as narrator, Indian Lawyers is about a Chinese gangster (Tan Ee Kean) who's accused of murder and then specifically seeks out his Indian lawyer friend (Siva Shanker Charles) to defend him, believing that Indians have an ability to twist and turn words, a.k.a. "speak Indian", which will help in defending him against the accusation of committing a crime he actually committed.
Through a series of flashbacks, we see how the Indian lawyer, even as a law student, manages to turn an innocent hair found in a cup of coffee into free packets of food, just by threatening to sue the coffee shop owner (Vijaymanisegar) over the hygiene of his worker (Hafez Nasruddin) and establishment.
In a twist of fate, when the Indian lawyer defends his Chinese gangster friend in court, it is the very same coffee shop worker who ends up being the prosecution's key witness in the case. By "speaking Indian", the Indian lawyer successfully turns what is initially the coffee shop worker's sworn testimony that he is 100% sure it is the defendant who committed the crime, to the poor worker admitting that he's only 30% sure. The defendant is set free.
In the end, as Santhira Morgan takes the stage to finish his narration, he admits that this tactic of attacking a witness’s testimony and account in order to develop some doubt is a technique employed not only by Indian lawyers, but by all lawyers. However, culturally, when an Indian lawyer does this, he is immediately labelled as someone who does so because it's ingrained in him/her to "speak Indian".
The play was interesting as it actually took us into a courtroom to show how a defence lawyer would turn testimonies around in order to cast doubt. Also, the slapstick humour was especially well presented by both Vijaymanisegar who played the Indian coffee shop owner and Hafez Nasruddin who played the wimpy and meek coffee shop worker turned key witness. Both thespians’ over-the-top portrayals well suited the comedic nature of this play.